App Reviewed on: iPad
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When I heard about Bathtime Boogie I was a little skeptical. I didn't know what to expect from a game with such a descriptive name. The title implies that the game involves some sort of dance routine in the bathtub, but I was relieved to find out that its actually a classic shmup (shoot'em up) with some interesting mechanics. For those unfamiliar with shoot'em ups, they are usually top down scrolling games where some sort of aircraft tries to blow everything up in its path. It is a solid genre that's been around for years, but rest assured Bathtime Boogie isn't a cookie cutter clone.
The game features a cute little aircraft with a heart on it, and some very colorful graphics. Don't be fooled by the kiddy appearance though because the difficulty scales, and it can get quite challenging in a short amount of time. The goal of the game is to control the aircraft with an index finger through an endless bath themed level filled with baddies (little germs with faces). The aircraft can trap the enemies by shooting them with bubbles, and then destroy said enemies by flying into them. If the little plane gets hit in the heart the player loses a life. It is a little like Icarus-X mixed with Bubble Bobble.
The endless level design might seem stale, but Bathtime Boogie manages to keep it fresh with interesting mini games, a dynamic scaling system, and boss battles. I particularly enjoyed the "Love Rush" mode. This mode is accessed by picking up a heart filled bubble during the frantic on screen action. The level then turns pink and 101 hearts must be collected without flying into a broken heart. If successful, the player is rewarded a large sum of bonus points. The boss battles (accessed by picking up a key) are also fun because each of the game's five bosses feature different attacks and movement patterns.
Bathtime Boogie has Game Center Achievements, Open Feint integration, Facebook connect, and even Twitter, so players can stay connected (aka brag about high scores). There's also an arcade mode planned for a future update. The main motivation for a shmup style game is usually high scores, and Bathtime Boogie managed to keep me coming back to push my score higher and higher. I found the dynamic gameplay suitably challenging, and the fact that the baddies spawned differently each game made for a very replayable experience. My masculinity might have dropped a few notches for enjoying Bathtime Boogie so much, but it was well worth the sacrifice.
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